Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe are the players whose names have helped re-popularise a footballing spin on an old rock and roll classic.

But almost two decades earlier, it was a Moroccan midfield general whose exploits in yellow and green captured the hearts of the Canary nation and led to a catchy Carrow Road rendition of Status Quo’s 1977 hit.

‘Safri’s better than Juninho’ was the ‘Rockin’ All Over the World’-inspired cry back in 2005 as Norwich City’s African import became something of a cult figure - with a little help from a certain wonder-strike along the way.

Marauding the streets of Marrakech as I write this column, it’s no surprise Youssef Safri became such a popular player in both Norfolk circles and back in his patriotic homeland, a nation so culturally polarised to the UK, but ultimately united in its love of the beautiful game.

Sofyan Amrabat, Achraf Hakimi and Hakim Ziyech shirts adorn the tsunami of souqs that dominate the old city’s Medina, particularly prominent off the back of Morocco’s memorable, miraculous run to the World Cup semi-finals in Qatar last year.

But Safri, now 46, was the star of the previous generation who blazed a trail for his compatriots to follow, cracking a career in the Premier League where he produced perhaps one of the finest strikes Carrow Road has ever seen.

Naturally, we will all remember the Moroccan maestro for that long, long-range thunderbolt that cannoned in off the crossbar under the Wednesday night lights and helped catapult City to a memorable top-flight triumph against Graeme Souness' Newcastle.

But more broadly, Safri served as a meaty midfield enforcer who, despite going on to play in a somewhat underwhelming late Nigel Worthington and Peter Grant era, ended up leaving a largely positive legacy in NR1. 

How City could benefit from a player like Safri right now, admittedly not quite as influential as the likes of Alex Tettey or Oliver Skipp but equally, a dependable defensive fit in the middle of the park that currently looks so flimsy and easy to overrun.

Norwich Evening News: Kenny McLeanKenny McLean (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

Kenny McLean - as usual - has been one of City’s better and more consistent performers this season and despite Gabriel Sara’s slight dip in form over the last few weeks, there is obviously no disputing the Brazilian’s brilliance both on and off the ball.

But at the same time, neither is a naturally deep-lying midfielder which in David Wagner’s high-pressing, all-action system, has left City so alarmingly exposed.

The club are facing so many issues at present but the absence of a rock-solid shield protecting the brittle back four is unquestionably one of them, heightened by the recent ineptitude of Shane Duffy and - to a lesser extent - the other defenders around him.

A combination of that defensive vulnerability, profligacy in possession and a fundamental lack of cutting-edge in the final third is always going to be a recipe for disaster and despite last weekend’s dramatic comeback win at Cardiff, the truth remains that Wagner’s race at Carrow Road looks run.  

Yes, we have Ashley Barnes returning after the international break, Josh Sargent back in the new year and, more immediately, Ben Knapper’s eagerly-anticipated arrival in the sporting director hot seat.

But memories of that Blackburn abomination and Leeds and Sunderland capitulations - sandwiched either side of a midweek Middlesbrough no-show - remain impossible to erase.

Based on Neil Adams’ quotes at this week’s fan forum event in Great Yarmouth, it looks as though the club are set to stick with Wagner over the international break.

But that then turns the upcoming QPR game into a virtual must-win scenario if the powers that be want to avoid a repeat of what they, and Wagner, were confronted with throughout that Sunday lunchtime Sammie Szmodics-inflicted shocker earlier this month.

Knapper is now finally in the building and knows he has all sorts of issues to solve, many of which are more pressing ahead of the pivotal festive period.

But in the longer-term, he must look to crucially rectify the gaping hole that exists in City’s midfield and perhaps a player with the composure, solidity and steel of Safri might just be the answer.